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Keeping the Commitment

In April, students from the Leaders in Service Program hosted “The Cinderella Project,” a prom for residents of the Center for Disability Services. (Photo by Teah Sisti)

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 13, 2016) — For the fifth straight year, the University has been recognized nationally for having students, faculty and staff committed to helping the greater community.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for a commitment to community, service learning and civic engagement.

“This is a wonderful recognition of our University-wide effort to support academic and community engagement,” said Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Darrell Wheeler. “The efforts by our students, faculty, staff, and community partners demonstrate the many aspects of our collective commitment to being a public academic institution committed to improving our community — locally and globally.”

In its 2015 Honor Roll application, UAlbany noted three major engagement initiatives that address critical community needs and exemplify the institution’s commitment to integrate public engagement, outreach and service campus-wide throughout its research and teaching. Among the programs highlighted were Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning practicum courses, the Leaders in Service Program, and UAlbany Navigators.

Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning

The department, part of the School of Education, collaborates with administrators, teachers and students in numerous school and community-based settings in the Capital Region in order to provide graduate students seeking certification as literacy specialists practical experience working with diverse populations of learners struggling with reading and writing.

The University has offered seven different practicum courses in seven community settings — five elementary schools, one middle school, and the Job Corps training program — involving 13 full-time or part-time faculty and 341 graduate student placements and making a difference in the lives of 318 children and young adults.

Leaders in Service (LIS) Program

Administered by the Department of Residential Life in the Division of Student Affairs, each year LIS introduces a new group of students to community service. By providing opportunities to serve and for leadership training and mentoring, LIS strives to spark and nurture in students a long-term commitment to community service on campus, within the Capital Region, and throughout the nation and abroad.

Since its inception in 2009, LIS has partnered with a number of human service agencies and nonprofits to aid individuals in need, including Habitat for Humanity, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, the Center for Disability Services, Meals on Wheels, the Police Athletic League, Girls, Inc., Make-A-Wish, and Ronald McDonald House.

Navigators UAlbany

UAlbany Navigators aid the public in dealing with the health insurance marketplace in multiple languages. (Photo by Mark Schmidt) 

Navigator Program

The School of Social Welfare’s "UAlbany Navigators" help individuals, families and businesses in Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties to navigate the online health insurance marketplace. The master’s students provide assistance to almost 2,000 clients annually.

The navigators work year-round, earning no course credit for their efforts. They do, however, gain valuable experience engaging with and advocating on behalf of those who may otherwise have great difficulty finding their way through the health insurance marketplace on their own: the homeless, refugees and immigrants, incarcerated individuals, people with mental health issues, young adults, the self-employed and single parents.

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The President’s Honor Roll is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the U.S. departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact and the Interfaith Youth Core.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.